Author: MJ Romeo

How do they do it?

How do they do it?

Did you ever work for someone who makes you feel valued? Who makes you feel special? With The Great Resignation in full swing, companies are losing talent left and right. Monday’s WSJ talked about tech companies moving to cash bonuses instead of stock options. Of course, that makes sense, cash is immediate but is cash the only thing that will entice a good employee to stay? There is a real lack of talent in many industries. How do you keep your employees from answering those constant calls from recruiters? How do you get them to stay?

One of my clients is struggling with this and came to the conclusion that yes, money matters. Make sure that your team members (and you too) are being compensated at market levels. It is important to note that there are many other ways to get your employees to remain on the job and highly motivated. First, we talked about really understanding each of his DRs (direct reports) and what motivates them. People are different. And if you don’t know what motivates them, you have to figure it out.

#WiseWords

Doing nothing is very hard to do… you never know when you’re finished.

Leslie Nielsen

Worth the Share

We all know that retaining top talent is a challenge for many organizations. This article from the new issue of HBR talks about the importance of making the superstars on your team feel special. It is not always about money.

In any company, unique talent can “create outcomes that wouldn’t be possible if they disappeared. You can’t pigeonhole them into a category and expect to keep them happy.”

Here are three things from the article that you should never do to your superstar performers:

  • Never dismiss their ideas: it is critical that they have a seat at the table, that they feel heard
  • Never block their development: stall their career trajectory at your own peril, keep them challenged and growing
  • Never pass up a chance to praise them: make sure it is specific and intentional praise, not generic. Make them feel special

Read The Real Secret of Retaining Talent: The subtle art of making people feel special by Roger L. Martin for solid tips and a sad story about the football player, Aaron Rogers.

 

And Finally...

Back to motivation. Here is a crazy way to think about what motivates each of your team members. Do you know about the Five Love Languages? It is designed for relationships BUT four of the five languages can be viewed through the lens of what motivates your team members. Here are the five love languages and how you can use them in business:

  1. Time Spent: Take your team member to lunch or dinner for some 1:1 time, especially now that we can get out and about.

  2. Acts of Service: Do something for them to help them be more successful, maybe take something off their plate if they are buried.

  3. Gifts: Something unexpected is always fun, one of my clients uses Drizly, or send out gift cards to a favorite restaurant. The more creative the better.

  4. Words of Affirmation: See the article above, make sure you are being specific and thoughtful with your praise.

  5. Touch: Okay, this is NOT applicable to business. Don’t even think about it!

What motivates you? What is your love language?

Have a great couple of weeks,
Mary Jo

To learn more about my 1:1 executive, communication or business growth coaching, custom virtual workshops, the Career Transition program or just to connect, you can reach me at info@mjrcac.com

Are you an Inspirational Leader?

Are you an Inspirational Leader?

Emotional Intelligence is a deep, rich topic. One of the components of EI is inspirational leadership. This competency is especially important today as so many professionals are disenfranchised about work. Many managers I coach are feeling warn down by their team members who are underperforming and don’t seem to care about the quality of their work.

Or do they? As managers, it is our job to hire well. That is the first step. Then, we need to figure out, for each of our team members, what they need from us to help them succeed. One client managed a woman who went to him frequently with problems and no solutions. It drove him crazy. Time and time again he asked her to bring solutions. She didn’t. After we dug deeper into the situation, he realized that she did not have the skills. He needed to teach her, create a safe space for her to fail and inspire her to grow. As a leader, how effective are you at inspiring others?

#WiseWords

hen people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.

Simon Sinek

Worth the Share

With all of the change that has occurred over the last couple of years, many of us are exhausted. Employee burnout is real, some professionals are distracted and others are disenchanted with their jobs or professions. This article from Gallup caught my attention because it provides clear, simple areas of focus for managers. As managers, there is a lot that we can do to make a difference with our team members. 7 People Management Skills You Need to Succeed This Year highlighted these areas:

  1. Build relationships – create alliances, take the time to get to know others even in this virtual world, build trust
  2. Develop people – help them to grow professionally and remain engaged at work
  3. Lead change – lean into the the future and how you will get there as a team
  4. Inspire others – encourage others through vision, positivity, and an environment of what can be
  5. Think critically – listen, evaluate, challenge and make smart, collaborative decisions
  6. Communicate clearly – be an effective, concise communicator, make sure you are heard
  7. Create accountability – have an engaged team with shared ownership and clear goals

Make one or two topics each quarter and further develop your leadership skills to create a workplace that is thriving – even during these crazy Covid days. Read on to learn more.

And Finally...

Another of the twelve components of Emotional Intelligence as outlined by Daniel Goleman is positivity. I’ve written about this before. When I first saw it listed, it took me by surprise. Positivity, really? Well, during these days when bad news seems to be everywhere, positivity matters!

In the article above, Gallup incorporated positivity as a component of inspiring others, and while I agree with that, I do think that positivity should stand on its own. Being positive matters. Who wants to work for someone who is negative all the time? It’s depressing.

For those of you who know me, you won’t be surprised that Positivity is one of my top five Gallup Strengths. What are your top five strengths? Reach out if you’d like to explore your strengths in greater depth.

Have an inspiring week.
Mary Jo

To learn more about my 1:1 executive, communication or business growth coaching, custom virtual workshops, the Career Transition program or just to connect, you can reach me at info@mjrcac.com

Do you have them?

Do you have them?

Boundaries. I am hearing that word a lot lately. My clients want boundaries. According to Webster’s Dictionary, a boundary is: “something that indicates or fixes a limit or extent.”

With remote work, many of us have lost our boundaries – have lost that “fixed limit”. The commute to and from work used to be a buffer that separated work and home, and now it is gone. Technology blurs boundaries all the time, we can be reached anytime, anywhere.

How are your boundaries? Is your work blending into and possibly negatively impacting your home life?

When coaching clients, we talk about various tactics to honor boundaries, such as:

  • communicate your expectations clearly about what you can and can’t do
  • delegate to others, learn to let go a bit
  • prioritize yourself, your health and what matters to you
  • set limits, such as not taking any calls after 6PM, maybe with one exception per week
  • practice saying no graciously “I have 5 projects right now, I can start that one on March 1st.”


What works for you?

#WiseWords

Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves even when we risk disappointing others.

Brene Brown, researcher and author

Worth the Share

After living with the impact of Covid for almost two years, many professionals have re-evaluated their relationship with work. The Great Resignation is real. As you probably heard, 4.5 million people walked off the job in November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a record high.

This article from Thrive is especially interesting because it digs into the numbers and talks about the reset that is happening with a lot of professionals. “According to a recent global survey by Future Forum, 76% of workers want more flexibility about where they work, and 93% want greater flexibility on when they work.

But it’s not flexibility for its own sake — behind the desire for flexibility is a desire to recalibrate our relationship between our  lives and our work. That’s what’s at the heart of the Great Re-valuation. People want their lives to come first.

The article’s title makes a bold statement: Now Is the Time for  “Life-Work Integration”: Going from work-life balance to work- life integration to life-work integration.

Are you ready to make a shift from striving for work-life balance to begin focusing on life-work integration?

And Finally...
If you are feeling radical, and want to read something that will help you reframe your approach to time, and maybe even positively impact burnout, read Effortless: Make It Easy to Do What Matters, by Greg McKeown.

According to the summary, the book teaches you to:
 
  • Turn tedious tasks into enjoyable rituals
  • Prevent frustration by solving problems before they arise
  • Set a sustainable pace instead of powering through
  • Make one-time choices that eliminate many future decisions
  • Simplify your processes by removing unnecessary steps
  • Make relationships easier to maintain and manage
  • And much more

Personally, I love Greg’s concept of setting a sustainable pace as it allows me to be more fully present. Oddly, I also get more accomplished.

Have a great, boundary-setting week,
Mary Jo

To learn more about my 1:1 executive, communication or business growth coaching, custom virtual workshops, the Career Transition program or just to connect, you can reach me at info@mjrcac.com

What is your word?

What is your word?

Since last month, many of us started to talk about how we planned to make a shift in one way or another in the new year. A surprising number started to talk about a word that would be their mantra for 2022. One word that would inspire them, challenge them or drive them forward.

One of my client’s said her word is … “no”. She emphatically stated that she will say no to people and things that take her off course. She wants, and feels that she needs to set boundaries so that she can live a less stressful life.

Another client’s word? “Impact”. She is on a journey to make a larger impact in at her new job, as she leads a team and chooses to live a full life outside of her career.

And a dear friend and fellow Executive Coach said his word is “clarity”. He has a lot on his plate and said using the word “clarity” will help to push him forward.

Choosing the right word can bring you clarity too.

#WiseWords

I like good strong words that mean something.

Louisa May Alcott (from “Little Women”)

Worth the Share

My clients aren’t the only ones thinking about using a word to set an intention for the year. Here is a list of 15 words from an article on the Thrive website. In scanning the list, here are my top three favorites and the reasons why…IMHO.

Gratitude – living with gratitude can make a tremendous impact on how you see you world, in a positive way. What are you grateful for today?

Grace – one of my favorite words. We beat ourselves up way too much, and are too hard on ourselves. Can you give yourself some grace?

Discipline – often easier said than done. When we are disciplined, taking it one step at a time, it is very empowering. What can you be more disciplined about?

Read on to find other words that might inspire you.

And Finally...

Okay, you knew I was going to ask. What is your word or phrase for 2022?

What intention do you want to set for the year ahead? Speaking of intention, my word last year was “intentional”, and it served me well throughout the year.

This year, my word is “joy” and I’m pretty pumped up about it. The world is in a really difficult place on so many levels. I’m going to face it with joy.

What about you? What is your word?

Wishing you and yours a playful creative year,

Mary Jo

To learn more about my 1:1 executive, communication or business growth coaching, custom virtual workshops, the Career Transition program or just to connect, you can reach me at info@mjrcac.com

Do you tap into your creativity?

Do you tap into your creativity?

Happy New Year! I hope you were able to take a break for a few days, and return to work refreshed and recharged.

Before the holiday break, I facilitated a discussion with a senior leader who was speaking about the key traits that make him a successful leader. Beyond being a good listener, taking risks, and building relationships, he spoke about the importance of being creative.

Creativity enables us to make connections where others may not see them, maybe looking at the “white space” to see what’s not there yet. As a leader, encouraging creativity in yourself and your team is critical for business growth. Take time to allow creativity to flourish, lean into collaboration, give yourself and your team permission to fail.

All of us have the ability to be creative, encourage it in yourself and others.

#WiseWords

If you want creative workers, give them enough time to play.

John Cleese

Worth the Share

Having a sense of wonder, being open to the world, spurs creativity.

In his new book, Tracking Wonder: Reclaiming a Life of Meaning and Possibility in a World Obsessed with Productivity, Jeff Davis challenges conventional thinking.

Here are Jeff’s five highlights from his book.

  1. Wonder is multifaceted: openness and curiosity, bewilderment and hope, connection and admiration
  2. Wonder is not kid’s stuff, it’s radical grown-up stuff: choose wonder to reclaim your childhood spirit
  3. Follow your curiosities instead of your passion: find fulfillment by exploring something that may even be a bit quirky
  4. Fertilize instead of flee from confusion: a sense of wonder can help us see things beyond our habitual patterns
  5. Open up, instead of size up, other people: “wonder is the quiet disrupter of unseen biases … momentarily dissolving our habitual patterns of seeing and thinking”

You can read more detail on Jeff’s 5 highlights here or pick up a copy of his book to really dig into the transforming concept of wonder.

To learn more about the power of music, read Why Music Is The Essential Ingredient.

And Finally...

Adults who take the time to play, reap the benefits of being more creative, they are healthier and happier, and more productive. Hanging out with little people is a great way to get adults to play. Crawl on the floor, build a sand castle, or play hide and seek.

To learn more about play at work, here is a TED talk for 2008, Tim Brown Tales of Creativity and Play.

Wishing you and yours a playful creative year,

Mary Jo

To learn more about my 1:1 executive, communication or business growth coaching, custom virtual workshops, the Career Transition program or just to connect, you can reach me at info@mjrcac.com

It is time to reflect

It is time to reflect

The other day, another executive coach asked a few of us: “What is something that you learned about yourself this year?” And as a follow-up: “ How might that learning impact what you do differently in 2022? ”.

These are both great questions to reflect on. As we wind down 2021, take a moment to think about the past year. One of my favorite questions that I ask myself regularly is: “What do I want more of in my life?” And the opposite: “What do I want less of in my life”.

We are all moving so fast. Take a couple of hours to reflect. Change your location by going outside to the beach or a park, or sitting in a coffee shop, and answer those questions. Then think about your goals and maybe something you want to let go of in 2022. Write it down. You will be glad you did!

#WiseWords

Reflective thinking turns experience into insight.

John C. Maxwell

Worth the Share

As you think back on 2021, think about your work. Are you a stressed out people manager? In just the last year, the burnout for people managers increased from 28% in 2020 to 35% in 2021.

This research from Gallup is upsetting to read but not surprising – with the ongoing global pandemic, supply-chain shortages, remote work, new Covid variants, rising inflation, political unrest etc., we are living though very challenging times. This affects us and the people we manage at work. As I am sure you have heard, mental health issues are at an all time high and there is a record number of us quitting our jobs.

This article highlights the challenge and provides some ideas. The first thing is recognize this is a real issue that could be affecting you and your team(s) and put energy and resources behind addressing it. Read on to learn more.

To learn more about the power of music, read Why Music Is The Essential Ingredient.

And Finally...

Personally, I am going to take some time to reflect on the past year and what I want more of in 2022. One thing I know, I want more group coaching, 1:1 coaching and the ability to create and deliver custom workshops. It fires me up. If you know anyone who might want to learn more, reach out. Recommendations are appreciated.

And finally, it is the Christmas season. I will be taking off the last two weeks of December and will be back in touch in January.

Enjoy the Holiday Season with family and friends. Take time to reflect.

Sending you my best,

Mary Jo

To learn more about my 1:1 executive, communication or business growth coaching, custom virtual workshops, the Career Transition program or just to connect, you can reach me at info@mjrcac.com

Do you practice _____?

Do you practice __________?

Thanksgiving is without a doubt my favorite holiday because I value the universality of the concept of the holiday… gratitude.

The other day, I asked one of my group coaching cohorts what they were grateful for. While many said health, family and friends, one client said “caffeine”. I love that.

A piece of advice I received a while ago is to name five different things each day for which I am grateful. Doing this daily practice stretches me to think beyond the obvious, digging deeper while appreciating the little things in life, like caffeine.

Do you have a daily or weekly gratitude practice?

#WiseWords

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you
concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never,
ever have enough.

Oprah Winfrey

Worth the Share

I am grateful for a lot of people and things, one of which is music – all kinds of
music. Growing up in a big musical family, music unified us and filled us – from the Grateful Dead to barbershop to opera and everything in between.

This article, written by Frank Fitzpatrick, talks about how music can make you be more resilient, creative and compassionate. What most struck me is the healing powers of music, brought to life by the story of Emmanuel Jal.

The author wrote: “Whether the sweet song of a sparrow at dawn or the celebratory roar of a Beethoven symphony, music is a form of energy — a life force — that resonates at our core. In addition to shifting our own energy on demand, the right music can help us organize our thoughts, stimulate our bodies to move and reset our emotional state so we pass through the stresses of our day in a more relaxed, productive and inspired way.”

To learn more about the power of music, read Why Music Is The Essential Ingredient.

 

And Finally...

What would happen if every day was a day of thanksgiving? If you don’t currently have some type of gratitude practice, you might want to consider one because of the proven benefits to your mental health and well being.

There are many ways to build a gratitude practice – prayer, mediation and journaling. Gratitude apps like Gratitude and 365 Gratitude make it easy, if you prefer that route.

To get started, read The Benefits of a Gratitude Practice and How to Get Started.

This Thanksgiving I am grateful for all of you and for my gratitude practice.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families.

Sending you my best,

Mary Jo

To learn more about my 1:1 executive, communication or business growth coaching, custom virtual workshops, the Career Transition program or just to connect, you can reach me at info@mjrcac.com

How do you prioritize your day?

How do you prioritize your day?

The other day I led a group workshop on time management. How do you prioritize your day? Do you calendar block time to accomplish specific tasks such as planning for a presentation or cleaning out your inbox? How effective are you at managing the clock?

One of my favorite questions to ask clients on this topic is: “What is your best time of day?”. One client said 7-9AM and after 3PM, another said 10AM-2PM, and yet another said 8-11AM. We are all different. Think about it, what is your best time of day?

Why does it matter? Your best time of day is when you are sharpest and can accomplish more work. While discussing this topic, “Ron” gained clarity about himself, realizing that his best time of day should be used for thinking or solving complex problems or creating something new while other times of day should be used for doing – meeting with his team, responding to emails, and attending meetings. Know your best time of day, when you are most productive, and honor it. You’ll be more efficient and effective.

#WiseWords

Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent, and not enough time on what is important.

Steven Convey

Worth the Share

The message I got from this fairly new book, Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman, is that we all have an opportunity to look at time, and our relationship with time, differently. It’s a bit more philosophical than the typical time management book. We can learn to be more at peace with time, especially when we realize it is finite. The title of the book brings that statement to life since four thousand weeks is the amount of weeks you’ll experience if you live to about 80 years old.

Promoted by The Next Big Idea Club, here are the author’s top five insights from his book.

  1. There will always be too much to do: we do not have an infinite amount of time, so prioritize what really matters
  2. Distraction is an inside job: feel the discomfort to do what matters rather than wasting your time
  3. Patience is a superpower: slow down to the speed the activity demands, do not rush through it
  4. A plan is just a thought: a statement of intent because you really don’t know what is going to happen, be open and curious
  5. You’re not such a big deal: think about what meaningful means, and be comfortable with the fact that you are already doing meaningful work

Here’s a link to book on Amazon

And Finally...

Time management is often connected to habits, especially since healthy habits can make us more effective as well. One of my executive coaching clients just finished Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones.

She is using the book as a workbook to make positive shifts in her work schedule and having quite a bit of success. Habit stacking, first credited to BJ Fogg, is a concept used to start a new habit by attaching it to an existing habit, such as: after I turn on the coffee machine in the morning I will meditate for one-minute.  It’s an effective tool, try it.

Have a great week,
Mary 
Jo

To learn more about my 1:1 executive, communication or business growth coaching, custom virtual workshops, the Career Transition program or just to connect, you can reach me at info@mjrcac.com

What are your core values?

What are your core values?

A month ago, I wrote about a client who was undervalued at her job. Her CEO changed her role within the company and who she reported to without first discussing it with her or her manager.

She quit that job and ended up joining a new firm where she had an amazing on-boarding experience and received a much better compensation package. While the honeymoon isn’t over yet, she now owns her value and is crystal clear about her role and the expectations of her new boss, the CEO.

Working with “Lisa” was a pleasure because of her focus and commitment to find a better work solution for herself. She was fearless, making connections with potential employers and being clear about her goals for a new role. Working for a company where her values aligned with their values was at the top of her list.

What is the lesson here? Find the right employer for YOU. They are out there. The first step is to know yourself, understand what matters to you and be clear about your own personal values.

#WiseWords

Your values create your internal compass that can navigate how you make decisions in your life. If you compromise your core values, you go nowhere.

Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Worth the Share

When I read this brief story from Thrive, I thought of my client “Lisa” and many others I’ve know over the years who fight back in a way that works for them.

I find it so empowering when we realize we can make a choice, that we do have power and don’t need to settle. It is so easy to cave and
feel stuck or trapped. The thing is, when we do that, we shrink.

Read How I Found My Gutsy and get inspired by a young woman who owned her power.

And Finally...

How do you figure out which values matter most to you at this moment in your life? There are several assessments that you can use, including this one from Psychology Today. To get a snapshot of your values for free, click on this LINK and answer the 202 questions in the assessment.

Another option, and one that works really well, is to review a list of values, like this one from James Clear. I’m coaching a few MBA students at the College of Charleston and the exercise they do is simply circle the six values that mean the most to them. While it sounds easy, it takes time to really think about what most matters to you.

My personal values are: connection, family, faith, impact and service, and I try to live them every day. Another might be autonomy – after working for myself for almost ten years it is clear to me that I’m best on my own.

Have a great week,
Mary 
Jo

To learn more about my 1:1 executive, communication or business growth coaching, custom virtual workshops, the Career Transition program or just to connect, you can reach me at info@mjrcac.com

Are you guilty of?

Are you guilty of?

I almost didn’t write this newsletter, falling victim to a busy work schedule (for which I am very grateful) and a full personal life (I’m very grateful for that too). When we have so much going on, something has to give… or does it?

Procrastination is real, and if I’m honest with myself, I have been procrastinating about writing this newsletter. After all, excuses are so easy to come by. I’m busy, tired, hungry, need to work out, company is coming etc. Putting things off is so easy to do and so common. I coach people about how to stop procrastinating all the time, and yet I still do it!

Some tips that work for me and others include: calendar blocking, optimizing the best time of day and using the Pomodoro Technique. What works for you?

#WiseWords

Never put off till tomorrow what may be done the
day after tomorrow just as well.

Mark Twain

Worth the Share

As you can imagine, procrastination is a common topic in books, videos and articles. Another topic worth addressing is multi-tasking. Multi-tasking is a myth.

How to Give Each of Your Tasks Your Undivided Attention is an article from Thrive that is a compilation of various ideas on how to stay focused and not multi-task. One of my favorite tips: Give yourself time to procrastinate. That’s exactly what I did today, I’ve been mulling over today’s topic for several days until time literally ran out.

Another favorite is the TTT method, give yourself Time to Think. I’m working with a creative director at an ad agency who was lamenting that he and his team need time to create. Give yourself time to __________ (create, think, do nothing), it is so important.

Read on for more ideas.

And Finally...

For a bit of levity, check out this TED talk from Tim Urban on procrastination.

As a sometimes procrastinator, I thoroughly enjoyed watching it while I should have been putting the finishing touches on this newsletter.

His insight: all of us are procrastinators and we are all procrastinating about something in life.

Check it out HERE.

Have a great week,
Mary 
Jo

To learn more about my 1:1 executive, communication or business growth coaching, custom virtual workshops, the Career Transition program or just to connect, you can reach me at info@mjrcac.com